KABUL (Pajhwok): Presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has partially revealed his economic policy which he would implement if wins the presidential runoff election slated for June 14.
Ghani held a meeting with investors, industrialists, university teachers, students and civil society activists in Kabul a day earlier. The meeting lasted three hours.
The candidate said he would promote the livestock sector and local industry to replace products imported from foreign countries.
Ghani said customs offices would be conditionally set up in border provinces, which would be turned into transit trade hub by establishing dry ports.
He planned to enable every province to contribute to national development, saying foreign missions would be made responsible to facilitate Afghan importers.
To promote local industry, he said, industrialists would be ensured physical security and he would hold meetings with them after every week.
Special attention will be paid to carpet industry and industrial parks and a permanent solution will be found to the issue of land acquisition. “Those demanding bribes from industrialists will have no room in our government,” Ghani said.
In a reference to Afghanistan’s 13 major mineral deposits, the candidate said all affairs of mines would be regularised to increase the government’s revenue and create jobs for the Afghans.
He said part of the income from mines would be spent in areas where the riches existed, vowing to make transparent the process of awarding contracts for mining. He said the private sector would be given special share in mines’ development.
Ashraf Ghani said he would construct half a million houses and would increase the authority of municipalities, especially of the Kabul Municipality, within three months.
He would give a priority to the production of construction materials in the country and would make efforts to promote Islamic banking.
In reference to the Kabul Bank crisis, Ghani said some of the stakeholders had joined his rival (Abdullah)’s camp and he would take legal action against those responsible for plunging once the country’s largest private lender into deep financial crisis.
Promising increased healthcare facilities, he said he planned the creation of a national economic council and a department controlling government’s lands.
About water resources, he said the country’s waters flowed out into neighbouring countries, but he would introduce an effective irrigation system that would help make Afghanistan self-sufficient in area of agriculture.
He said he had neither copied his economic policy from any book in foreign countries nor he had been dictated in this regard. He said his policy would break the begging bowl.
He also came hard on Abdullah for not participating in the meeting with industrialists, asking him to be ready for a live debate with him within the remaining six days to go for the runoff election.
However, Abdullah had said he was ready to appear in a debate if all media outlets covered it.